|Selling through indirect channels is a great way to scale but it is an art as much as it is a science. More so if your solution is multi-dimensional or complex to understand or expensive. That's where your partners' sales capabilities can become the bottleneck.|
In our more than 15 years of channel enablement for some of the largest IT firms on the planet we were able to make a couple of key observations about what differentiates successful from unsuccessful channel management.
What channels demand from a vendor boils down to a surprisingly short list of only six key items (NOT in order of importance):
- An understandable, clearly differentiated product with maximum (partner) service attach
- Decent or at least workable margins (even post-RFP), with occasional realistic promos
- Free, timely and accessible pre-sales support for your offering, if needed
- A reliable and loyal process for project/deal claiming
- Flawless execution on your part of the ordering process and your delivery obligations
- A good quality, efficient training strategy for the partner's sales and service organization
That's it. If you get these six items right, you're going to be miles ahead of your competitors. My recommendation is that you funnel all channel investment into these six areas until your channel tells you that you have each one item absolutely stellar.
Any one of these points is a potential show stopper but #1 and # 6 are probably the easiest, quickest and cheapest to address if you feel that partners’ sales capabilities are one of the major hold-backs for your success in indirect channels.
To assist in that we have a product called ‘The Partner Day’ where we get your partners together in a good hotel to evangelize your products and services. What this does is, it gives you a full day of shelf space in your partners’ sales peoples' minds which is obviously priceless.
Also where your proposition is not totally straightforward and requires sound knowledge, we'll take the opportunity for some partner sales education. Still the spirit of the day is fun, motivation and friendly competition between workshop teams for the final 'big prize'. The concept is proven and requires minimal effort on your part, since we’ll do all the heavy lifting.
If you’d like to know more, please